Five days after members of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) presented a 16-point demand to President Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has expressed satisfaction at the development, but requested the immediate reopening of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko.
NDA, however, described all the demands as the minimum in the face of what the region actually needed, having been neglected and ravished for donkey years.
“Some issues need affirmative actions. The immediate take-off of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU) Okerenkoko, for the 2016/17 sessions, withdrawal of all occupational security agencies and agents in the Niger Delta,” the group stated.
Admonishing President Buhari to seek good managers, the group declared that Buhari needed people of the region more than they needed him.
“The Nigerian state genuinely needs the cooperation of our people to sustain the flow of crude oil and gas in our land to quench her appetite of developing other sections of the country without regards to the Niger Delta, the people and the environment,” it averred.
Spokesperson on NDA, Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement posted in the group’s website on Saturday, praised the Chief Edwin Clark-led PANDEF for the minimal demands.
According to the statement, the demands, if well implemented, will usher in peace and tranquility in the region.
“The Niger Delta leaders, under the leadership of Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, deserves kudos by Nigerians for presenting such minimal demands to the Federal Government to pacify a people and region that has been continuously raped and dehumanised since 1914, because the golden egg she lays is the common wealth of the nation.
“The demands are the minimal legitimate roadmap to setting up the framework to achieving the short, medium and long objective for the restoration of tranquillity and development of the region.
“These demands will lead the roadmap to engender desired peaceful atmosphere that Nigerian state so need if there is sincerity.
“Since the day crude oil and gas resources was discovered for the past 60 years, we are only asking for portable water, electricity, affordable healthcare, quality education etc; until 1994, when our people were visited by state sponsored military terror by the regime of General Sani Abacha, a regime President Muhammadu Buhari served as one of his henchmen and chaired the Petroleum Trust Fund,” the Avengers noted.
The group added that “our Elders, Traditional Rulers and stakeholders have spoken.
“They have placed the minimal legitimate demands of the Niger Delta region before the Nigerian government.
“The prospects of regaining the trust of the people by talking down on the people or using the instruments of force by the state are gone,” it said.